ITR Physical Therapy has Telehealth sessions up and running. Using the same patient portal you’ve come to love for self-booking your in-person appointments, PTEverywhere is a HIPPA-compliant platform for these video calls. We can still answer your questions, evaluate your posture, monitor your stress management, continue bowel and bladder education, dietary suggestions and, of course we will advance your home exercise program.
FAQ for Telehealth:
1) What is Telehealth for Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy telehealth sessions are virtual treatment sessions using video for your physical therapist to see you while working with you. With all of the recent changes in our world and the need for social distancing, this is a safe and wonderful way to receive many of the same benefits you would normally receive during an in-person session.
2) How can I benefit from virtual PT sessions?
We at ITR have always worked with the philosophy that we are not here as your physical therapist to “fix” you. We are here to be your partner in your healing journey and we are excited that telehealth offers you the opportunity to truly become more empowered for you to help your own body heal.
Education is a HUGE part of physical therapy, especially with women and men’s pelvic health. All of this education can be performed completely through virtual video sessions, whether you are learning about healthy bowel or bladder characteristics, dietary/nutritional education, pelvic function and anatomy, posture adjustments, body mechanics or your home exercise program (HEP).
Here’s the silver lining: during your telehealth physical therapy sessions, you will have more opportunity to tune in to your own system to determine how your body feels with a particular exercise, movement or stretch versus relying on your physical therapist. This is where the beauty lies. Part of your telehealth will be educating you on how to perform your own soft tissue release techniques. While we still appreciate that our manual therapy skills are an important piece of the puzzle, we are genuinely excited at the prospect of empowering you to make the changes you can for yourself.
3) How long are the Sessions?
We offer telehealth PT sessions in 15 minute increments. If you have a few questions you need answered from your PT about your home program or you would like for your PT to see exactly how you perform a specific activity at home and suggest body mechanic changes, then 15 minutes may be all you need. If, however, your PT needs to completely update your home exercise program, 30 or 45 minutes may be more appropriate. If you are new or fairly new to physical therapy you will likely need the full 60 minutes to receive all of the education and information your PT has to offer you.
4) What equipment do I need?
You will need a phone, tablet or laptop that has internet access and a camera. If you are using your phone or tablet you will need to download the PTEverywhere app. Log in to your PTEverywhere profile and then click on the schedule button. Once there, your physical therapist will initiate the “call” through PTEverywhere you will see a green phone pop up. Click on the green phone, and your HIPPA–compliant session will start. Ideally you also have a private and quiet space to enjoy the session. If you are reviewing or progressing your home exercise program please be in a space where you can show your physical therapist how you are actually performing your exercises. Also, have any tools (such as a foam roller) or exercise equipment you will be using with you and ready for use during your telehealth session. Prior to your first session, please be sure to go the document section in your PTEverywhere account and sign the telehealth consent form.
5) Will my privacy be maintained?
Yes, PTEverywhere telehealth sessions are completely HIPPA compliant and not recorded.
6) Will my insurance company pay for these sessions?
Each insurance company will have different policies regarding payment of telehealth medical services. Please be sure to call and check with your own insurance company so that you know ahead of time what their policy is. With the need for social distancing, Medicare has opened up their payments for all kinds of telehealth medicine and most private insurance companies do use Medicare’s policies as a basis for making their payment policies.
7) How long will you be offering telehealth PT?
ITR has already been offering Mind-Body Coaching telehealth services since summer of 2019. Offering telehealth PT sessions was something ITR had discussed as a group in the fall of 2019. We have had the intention for starting different programs that integrate telehealth physical theray for a while, however, life just felt a little too busy to implement them until now. We see this new time as a gift for us to offer you more convenient ways to access our physical therapists and their expertise. ITR will plan to continue to offer telehealth services even after the need for social distancing has passed, as we understand the many benefits it has to offer everyone.
8) What types of diagnoses will benefit from telehealth PT services?
Honestly, everyone with any diagnosis will benefit from at least some telehealth physical therapy services. As mentioned earlier, a huge part of what we do as physical therapists is education. (see question # 2 above). We are excited to currently be working on some new programs that will use telehealth PT as the only or at least an integral part of the treatment program. For example, we are currently working on putting together a telehealth program for women who are in their Fourth Trimester, and in particular, the time period from when your baby is born until you are given medical clearance to come to in–person PT (typically not until you are at least six weeks post partum). We are also currently putting together pediatric constipation program. Please keep an eye out for these new programs!!